I met today with Rt Hon Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise when she was in Kendal. In a wide ranging discussion I was able to discuss with her my ideas for incentivising employers to encourage service in the Special Constabulary which if elected I intend to pursue in order to increase the number of Specials and uniformed presence in the County.
I was encouraged to have an open discussion on the possible options for encouraging more people to join the Specials. Based on my experience in the Military whereby we have been recruiting large numbers of Reservists for many years I think there are ways we can put more Special Constables in uniform throughout Cumbria which may be a welcome and cost effective means to really engage with the Communities that our Police serve and thereby freeing up the Regular Cadre for dealing with more serious crime. More than that the indiuviduals have enormous potential as a result of personal development and training as a Police Officer, to take back to their firms and employers a huge range of additional skills and experience which can benefit business too, it really can be a win win situation.
We also touched upon the government response to flooding in the county and the Minister was committed to driving agencies hard to help restore Cumbrian Business and in particular she was strident in putting on pressure to fix the damaged A591 as quickly as possible. I was especially pleased to hear that Anna was putting her “money where her mouth is” and supporting Cumbria by spending the half term holiday in the Lake District promoting the message that we are very much ‘Open for Business and a superb chocie of location for a holiday at any time of year.’